and per se and: XIX - Peter Liversidge & Celtic head of a man

13 - 21 December 2017

and per se and is a rolling sequence of exhibitions where one work is paired with another for two weekly periods, across a stretch of 12 months. This phase of the sequence sees Peter Liversidge’s gilded mask and stone effigies joined by a 2,000 year old antiquity: a carved stone head of Celtic origin. Peter Liversidge has described his masks and effigies in terms that relate to other times and other cultures. His stone sculptures are ‘a life-like representation, but objects in their own right, suggesting perhaps an effigy, or something that might be worshipped in other cultures’ whereas the gilded masks are resonant of the kind of ceremonial masks found in ancient Inca and Pre-Columbian times, but with connotations of false representation, or concealment, and perhaps suggesting a very different sort of ritual. There’s a light-heartedness about these objects, but also an underlying seriousness that questions the ways in which humans see and depict themselves. There’s also a somewhat obsessive approach on behalf of the artist: with one face leading to another and thence to another, his studio slowly filling with new inhabitants. For the nineteenth iteration of and per se and Liversidge’s quasi-antiquities are paired with an example of the real thing, an exceptional example of a Celtic head of a man. Two thousand years since its making it too appears to have something oddly humorous in its expression, but was almost certainly made with the most serious of intention: glorifying the human head as the seat of both intellect and emotion, warding off evil and testifying to the prowess of the Celtic warrior.